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Rehabilitative Online Education versus Internet Discussion Group for Hearing Aid Users: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Technical Audiology.
Lund University.
Lund University.
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4753-6745
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2011 (English)In: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF AUDIOLOGY, ISSN 1050-0545, Vol. 22, no 5, 274-285 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: By using the Internet in the audiological rehabilitation process, it might be possible in a cost-effective way to include additional rehabilitation components by informing and guiding hearing aid users about such topics as communication strategies, hearing tactics, and how to handle hearing aids. Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness of an online education program for adult experienced hearing aid users including professional guidance by an audiologist and compare it with the effects of participation in an online discussion forum without any professional contact. Research Design: A randomized controlled study with two groups of participants. Repeated measures at prestudy, immediate follow-up, and a 6 mo follow-up. Study Sample: Fifty-nine experienced hearing aid users participated in the study, ranging in age from 24 to 84 yr (mean 63.5 yr). Intervention: The intervention group (N=29) underwent a five-week rehabilitative online education in which activities for each week included information, tasks, and assignments, and contact with a professional audiologist was included. The participants in the control group (N=30) were referred to an online discussion forum without any audiologist contact.. Data Collection and Analysis: A set of questionnaires administered online were used as outcome measures: (1) Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly, (2) International Outcome Inventory for Hearing Aids, (3) Satisfaction with Amplification in Daily Life, and (4) Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Results: Significant improvements measured by the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly were found in both groups of participants, and the effects were maintained at the 6 mo follow-up. The results on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale showed that the participants in the intervention group showed reduced symptoms of depression immediately/6 mo after the intervention. At the 6 mo follow-up participants in the control group reported fewer symptoms of anxiety than they did before the intervention started. Conclusions: This study provides preliminary evidence that the Internet can be used to deliver education to experienced hearing aid users who report residual hearing problems such that their problems are reduced by the intervention. The study also suggests that online discussion forums could be used in rehabilitation. A combination of online professional supervised education and online informal discussions could be a promising rehabilitation tool.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Academy of Audiology , 2011. Vol. 22, no 5, 274-285 p.
Keyword [en]
Counseling; duty to recontact; hearing loss; Internet; outcome assessment; rehabilitation of hearing impaired
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-69912DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.22.5.4ISI: 000292679800004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-69912DiVA: diva2:433208
Available from: 2011-08-09 Created: 2011-08-08 Last updated: 2014-11-28
In thesis
1. Internet Interventions for Hearing Loss: Examing rehabilitation, self-report measures and internet use for hearing-aid users
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Internet Interventions for Hearing Loss: Examing rehabilitation, self-report measures and internet use for hearing-aid users
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the future, audiological rehabilitation of adults with hearing loss will be more available, personalized and thorough due to the possibilities offered by the internet. By using the internet as a platform it is also possible to perform the process of rehabilitation in a cost-effective way. With tailored online rehabilitation programs containing topics such as communication strategies, hearing tactics and how to handle hearing aids it might be possible to foster behavioral changes that will positively affect hearing aid users.

Four studies were carried out in this thesis. The first study investigated internet usage among adults with hearing loss. In the second study the administration format, online vs. paper- and pencil, of four standardized questionnaires was evaluated. Finally two randomized controlled trials were performed evaluating the efficacy of online rehabilitation programs including professional guidance by an audiologist. The programs lasted over five weeks and were designed for experienced adult hearing-aid users. The effects of the online programs were compared with the effects of a control group.

It can be concluded that the use of computers and the internet overall is at least at the same level for people with hearing loss as for the general age-matched population in Sweden. Furthermore, for three of the four included questionnaires, the participants’ scores remained the same across formats. It is however recommended that the administration format remain consistent across assessment points. Finally, results from the two concluding intervention studies provide preliminary evidence that the internet can be used to deliver education and rehabilitation to experienced hearing aid users who report residual hearing problems and that their problems are reduced by the intervention; however the content and design of the online rehabilitation program requires further investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 72 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1392Studies from the Swedish Institute for Disability Research, ISSN 1650-1128 ; 57
Keyword
Counseling, hearing loss, hearing aids, rehabilitation of people with hearing loss, internet, outcome assessment, hearing aid satisfaction
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-103824 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-103824 (DOI)978-91-7519-423-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-02-27, Berzeliussalen, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-01-28 Created: 2014-01-28 Last updated: 2014-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Sundewall Thorén, ElisabetAndersson, GerhardLunner, Thomas

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